President Mohammadu Buhari in a recent tweet mourns the death of Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly of Côte d’Ivoire.
He tweeted, “I mourn the death of Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly of Côte d’Ivoire. His passing has left a void not only in the country, but also in West Africa, which looked up to him as an emerging leader for these times.
“His leadership, political and business acumen, working in support of President Ouattara, epitomize the success story of the economy and the return of peace and stability after the crises Cote d’Ivoire passed through.
“Deepest condolences to President Ouattara and the government and people of Cote d ‘Ivoire. May God bless the soul of the departed leader and further unify the country and its people. Amen”
The Ivory Coast’s PM Amadou Gon Coulibaly died after falling ill at a ministerial meeting.
The 61-year-old had been chosen as the ruling party’s candidate for October’s presidential election, after Alassane Ouattara said he would not seek a third term in office.
Mr Gon Coulibaly had only just returned from France where he had received two-months’ heart treatment.
President Ouattara said the country was in mourning.
He said Mr Gon Coulibaly had become unwell during a weekly cabinet meeting and was taken to hospital where he later died.
“I pay tribute to my younger brother, my son, Amadou Gon Coulibaly, who was for 30 years my closest partner,” the president said. “I salute the memory of a statesman of great loyalty, devotion and love for the homeland.”
Mr Gon Coulibaly’s death creates huge uncertainty over the election.
Mr Ouattara’s supporters say he has brought economic growth, stability and a renewed standing for Ivory Coast on the international stage.
But opposition politicians – and many Ivorians – say that the president has not done enough to bring the nation together, and heal the wounds of the bitter conflict that divided Ivory Coast and then brought him to power.
Around 3,000 people are thought to have died in the war sparked by candidate Laurent Gbagbo’s refusal to accept he had lost the 2010 elections to Mr Ouattara, before troops loyal to the current president arrested Mr Gbagbo in April 2011.